Newcastle Filipinos rally round for their stricken homeland

Filipinos living in Newcastle are rallying round in the wake of super storm Typhoon Haiyan that has left thousands dead

Tim McGuinness Allan Badenhop is launching a bid to raise funds to help his typhoon-ravaged country
Allan Badenhop is launching a bid to raise funds to help his typhoon-ravaged country

Newcastle's Filipino community has rallied in the wake of a super storm that has left thousands dead.

Allan Badenhop is one of hundreds of Filipinos living in Newcastle who are desperately trying to raise funds to help friends and family in typhoon-devastated Philippines.

The 50-year-old, who is a volunteer for the British Red Cross, says his immediate family are safe in the country’s capital city Manila.

But he knows of countless others who were not so lucky when Typhoon Haiyan swept in.

He said: “When I was first told about the typhoon hitting Philippines my thoughts immediately turned to my family. I have close family living over there, including my brothers and my aunties.

“Thankfully, they’re living in Manila which is around 600km away from the eye of the storm.

“But I know of many others who have suffered a great deal. Fortunately I can keep in touch with my family via email because the electricity in Manila is not cut off.

“My friend and his family live in the town that was worst affected. After two days they were found safe and sound but now they need help because their home is completely destroyed. Their posessions are gone and they have no food, no water and no change of clothes.

“But Filipinos are resilient and we’re very family-orientated. Here in Newcastle we will do all that we can for our friends, family and many others who are desperately in need of our help.”

Collection teams are being drawn from the Filipino community while Red Cross volunteers have agreed to fund raise at Tesco stores across the region at the weekend.

The ladies who run the cafe at Morpeth Rugby Club will also donate all their takings from this weekend to the aid efforts.

The Red Cross, which draws around 500 volunteers from across the North East, has pledged to raise funds over the coming weeks

Meanwhile, Sunderland man Tim Harding is one of many foreigners volunteering at a Red Cross centre in the storm’s aftermath.

Mr Harding had planned a holiday to the nation’s capital with his wife, who was originally from the Philippines, but it had instead become a volunteer mission.

“There’s a lot of panic going on here,” he said. “Although we just got some good news that a three-year-old child had actually been rescued in the debris at a place in Tacloban city.

“There was a big cheer that went up.

“There’s only one priority here and that’s to get together, get stuck in and do the greater good.”

Mr Harding said he would help wherever he could for the next few weeks and it was a mindset shared by other foreigners hailing from not only the UK, but but elsewhere in Europe and the world.

He said: “You’ve got people worried about their families in the harder-hit areas, but everyone is coming together and just helping out.”

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